About a week ago Primal Scream premiered a video for their upcoming single “2013”, their first breath of fresh air since 2008’s Beautiful Future. The track isn’t necessarily bad but it’s nowhere near this year’s majestic comebacks of My Bloody Valentine and Bowie. In fact the most exciting part is hearing Kevin Shields (MBV) once again joining in on guitar.
At the turn of the 90s, Primal Scream where one of the first rock bands to “sell their guitars and buy turntables” (to quote James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem). Even if turntables might not be the device they actually used, Murphy’s quote pretty much sums up what was going on in the early 90’s. Electronic music was spreading fast into the mainstream as well as into the rock scene and Primal Scream, perhaps without their knowledge, was to become the center of attention.
Prior to their conversion, they were a conventional sounding band with two album releases that neither generated any commercial or critical success. Their second album did get some small coverage, enough so the band gained courage to approach Andew Weatherall (DJ, remixer, producer, Balearic rave god and so on) for a remix of “I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have”. With some serious tweaking of the original, that remix eventually gave birth to “Loaded”.
The way it fused rock and acid-house was up to that point unheard-of. With a risk of assessing too much importance to one song, I claim that “Loaded” not only changed the course of Primal Scream’s career, but also the direction rock and electronic music took in the years that followed. Its impact on what already was bubbling under the surface eventually created a musical scenery where electronic acts suddenly sampled (or used actual) guitars and started playing major festivals, while traditional rock bands incorporated house and techno influences into their sound.
Screamadelica, the album that followed is one of those rare moments in history when a certain sound is so closely intertwined with the zeitgeist of the period that it almost becomes mythical. Interestingly, 20+ years after its release, it once again feels relevant. The most recent case in point is Jagwar Ma’s “The Throw”. It’s a song owing a great deal of its influences to Primal Scream and the sound of 90’s rock they were a huge part of fashioning.
Primal Scream – 2013:
- New Music Video – Primal Scream “2013” (thescenestar.typepad.com)
- Primal Scream Release First Track From New Album (noise11.com)
- New music: Primal Scream – 2013 (guardian.co.uk)
- Primal Scream: New Album, Video (jambase.com)
- Primal Scream Reveal New Album Details (noise11.com)
- Screamadelica – Primal Scream (fightnoizepollution.com)